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Next Phase of Capital Campaign is Launched

Update #46

Capital Campaign gaining strong momentum with “naming opportunities” as next phase of reaching out to donors is launched.

Riina and Allan Hess are co-chairs of the next phase of the International Estonian Centre’s Capital Campaign Viru Vanemad, and invite potential donors to find out more about the unique naming opportunities available.

An exceptional opportunity to help create a dynamic future for our community has been launched as the Capital Campaign for the new International Estonian Centre (IEC) enters the next phase.

Potential donors who might consider gifts in the $10,000 to $100,000 range are invited to become the centre’s Viru Vanemad and make their mark in this exciting phase of the IEC’s future. This group of donors will form a dynamic legacy by having their family name attached to a portion of the Centre.

The campaign got off to a vibrant start by approaching - and subsequently confirming - donors in the $100,000-plus category. Pledges totaling in excess of $5 million came in from this group, including a very significant $3 million gift from the lead donor. This level of the campaign outreach continues.

Now, the next phase of the campaign is on track to get underway.

Riina and Allan Hess are the co-chairs of Viru Vanemad. “We are so pleased to be part of this exceptional opportunity for the Estonian community and to lead this important phase of the campaign.”

“Supporting the development of the new centre will help ensure a bright and vigorous future for our community.”

“We have put a lot of thought into this strategy, and it has worked really well. People are excited to find out about the naming opportunities and are responding in strong numbers,” said campaign consultant Mark Gryfe, President of Gryfe Philanthropic Solutions.

“Conducting the campaign in phases is a ‘tried-and-true’ method for fundraising in these types of projects,” he explained.

The IEC project team is delighted to have the participation of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Former President of Estonia, who is Honorary Chair of the Capital Campaign and Toomas Lukk, Estonian Ambassador to Canada.

Architect Alar Kongats (a three-time recipient of the Governor-General’s award) leads the design team and is the creative force behind the IEC’s Nordic-inspired aesthetics, which will include weaving in Estonian-sourced materials where appropriate.

The Capital Campaign team has been working hard to assemble lists of potential donors to get involved in developing the new centre. Special events for donors who are interested in becoming Viru Vanemad are in the works.

If you or a family member are interested in giving at this level, and would like to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime chance to help build a strong future for the Estonian community, please get in touch with Urve Tamberg at

The IEC, anticipated to open in 2021 in downtown Toronto, will be a dynamic hub showcasing our rich heritage and promoting Estonian innovation. It will be a vibrant gathering place for Estonians of all generations and backgrounds to connect, celebrate, and share our culture and achievements with each other and the world.


For more project information

· Check out our website – it is updated regularly:

· If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our email newsletter through the website.

· Follow us on Facebook: @EestiKeskus


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